POST Online Media Lite Edition


BC jobs plan sets the stage for growth in 2017

Staff Writer |
The Province of British Columbia finished 2016 with a record number of jobs created, the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, expanded economic activity and increased exports in key market sectors.

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With the start of a new year, British Columbia will continue to focus on the long-term goals set out in the BC Jobs Plan, keeping the province diverse, strong and growing.

Since the launch of the BC Jobs Plan in 2011, British Columbia went from third in economic growth to first, expanding by 3.3% ($7.4 billion) in 2015.

Private sector financial institutions, such as BMO Capital Markets, CIBC, Scotiabank, along with the Conference Board of Canada, are projecting that B.C. will continue to outpace Canada as a whole in 2017 when it comes to job creation, and will either be the leader or near the top of all provinces.

British Columbia set a new record for employment levels in 2016 with over 2.4 million British Columbians working, and has added 191,500 jobs since the launch of jobs plan.

At the same time, the province went from ninth in job growth to leading the country with 8.6% job growth.

Of the jobs created since the launch of the jobs plan, over 81% are full-time, and over 96% are in the private sector or self-employed.

In addition, British Columbia went from having the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in Canada to currently having the lowest unemployment rate at 5.8%.

Core contributors to B.C.’s economic prosperity are the large-scale construction projects happening throughout the province.

The B.C. Major Projects Inventory has $439.3 billion in major projects with $78 billion already under construction, an 18% increase over 2011.

Of the Province’s major taxpayer-supported infrastructure projects in the capital plan, there is more than $7.5 billion of work taking place in communities throughout B.C. supporting over 38,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

B.C.’s exports amounted to $36 billion in 2015, an overall increase of 10% since 2011. Contributing to those exports are B.C. agrifoods producers who exported $3.5 billion in products.

B.C. forest production exports are up 29% since 2011 and the forestry sector contributed $7.3 billion to B.C.’s GDP. And manufactured goods account for 67.3 % of B.C.’s total exports to international destinations.

The BC Jobs Plan has achieved and surpassed much of what it set out to do: enable job creation, expand markets for B.C.’s goods and services, and strengthen B.C.’s infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods to market – while at the same time reducing red tape and other barriers for the province’s key sectors.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, said: "With the strategy and focus of the Jobs Plan, B.C. has diversified its economy and become the nationwide leader in job creation and economic growth. B.C. is poised to be among the economic leaders again in 2017.

With our strong economic foundation, we will continue to create an environment that is welcoming to investment and businesses that put British Columbians first in line for our province’s future opportunities."

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